Indian Navy has banned the use of all smartphones and social networking platforms on-board ships and naval bases, after seven of its personnels were arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information to an espionage racket with links to Pakistan, reports Hindustan Times.
“All social networking platforms including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other messengers from here on now will not be allowed at the naval bases and ships,” said a senior Indian Navy officer. The Navy issued a direction to inform about the new ban.
The officer said that moreover smartphones were not allowed on ships and naval bases.
Recently on 20 December, Intelligence agencies had busted an espionage racket linked to Pakistan with the arrest of seven Indian Navy personnel and a hawala operator. The Navy officials were allegedly leaking sensitive information about the movements of warships and submarines to Pakistan.
“Three sailors were arrested from Visakhapatnam, two from Karwar, and two from Mumbai,” said intelligence agencies.
Andhra Pradesh State Intelligence Department in association with the central intelligence agencies and Naval Intelligence had busted the racket under an operation named "Dolphin's Nose".
The operation was named Dolphin’s Nose, as some officers stay at service quarters at Dolphin Hill. The quarters, built about 10 years ago, accommodate officer from sailors to commissioned officers.
Police suspect these officers had leaked information to terror groups in Pakistan. The espionage racketeers are said to have roped in government officials for spying.
The whole event had exposed serious lapses in the security apparatus in place around critical assets in the country.
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